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For many women and babies, breastfeeding is hard—and since we’re told that it should feel “natural”, it can be challenging to admit we’re struggling. Thankfully, accepting breastfeeding support is becoming more and more common as mothers are realizing that sometimes we can’t do it all and it’s okay to ask for help. Also, having the right breastfeeding supplies can be a real game changer. And among the items that are definite must-haves? Nursing pillows.
Why do you need a nursing pillow?
Most importantly, it makes you both more comfortable for longer. And in those early days of newborn breastfeeding, it can feel as though you’re nursing more often than not, so comfort is key. Breastfeeding pillows also support the entire weight of your baby, propping them right up against your breast without straining your arms, back or neck. (They might be tiny, but boy do they get heavy quick!)
When do you need a nursing pillow?
Of course, it’s most important in the beginning when you’re likely breastfeeding around the clock. But as you figure out which holds and positions work best for you both, your needs may change. And once they’re able to have more control over their body at about four to six months, you might find you don’t need one at all. However, nursing pillows come in handy for a variety of situations like tummy time practice or providing a safe space to prop them up to look around.
What should you look for in a nursing pillow?
Depending on your needs, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the shape. Nursing pillows come in a wide variety including crescents, U-shapes and even fully wraparound designs, which all work fabulously for different reasons. We’ve included a range so you can more easily find one that suits your preference. Additionally, consider your own postpartum needs. If you’re recovering from a c-section, look for pillows that make it easy to avoid your incision. We also tried to include only pillows that have easy to remove and washable covers (or can be washed as is) because no one has time for spot cleaning such things. (There’s only one exception but it was too gorgeous not to mention!)
Check out our favorite nursing pillows for breastfeeding moms below!
Best nursing pillows
A version of this article was originally published May 13, 2021. It has been updated.